A diamond weighing more than 100 carats smashed its high estimate at Christie’s New York Wednesday [June 8], raking in $20 million.
The emerald-cut, 103.49-carat, D-flawless, type IIa Light of Africa was the star of the Magnificent Jewels auction, surpassing its $18 million presale upper price tag. The stone is the fifth most-valuable colorless diamond Christie’s has ever offered, it said Thursday [June 9]. It was crafted by Dubai-based manufacturer Stargems, from a 299.3-carat rough unearthed at Petra Diamonds’ Cullinan mine in South Africa. Stargems bought the stone for $12.2 million in 2021.
In total, the sale garnered $48.9 million, with 95% of the items on offer finding buyers.
“The Magnificent Jewels auction…rounded off an incredible sale season with solid results worldwide,” said Rahul Kadakia, international head of jewelry for Christie’s. “The 103.49-carat Light of Africa diamond achieved an incredible $195,000 per carat, demonstrating the strength of the diamond market at the highest levels.”
Another top performer was the estate of philanthropists Ann and Gordon Getty, bringing in $5.9 million, more than double its presale estimate. The offering included 12 jewels by JAR, one of the largest collections by the designer to appear at auction. The highest-value piece from that group was a multi-gem, diamond and lacquer “parrot tulip” brooch, which fetched $831,600 against an upper price tag of $300,000, while an agate, diamond and sapphire zebra brooch realized $554,400, nearly eight times its high estimate.
Other notable items included a necklace bearing a heart brilliant-cut, 76.46-carat, D-color, VVS2-clarity diamond with 46 smaller diamonds ranging from 0.46 to 3.03 carats. The piece sold for $4.9 million, within its estimate. A bracelet by Carvin French featuring different shades of pink and red diamonds as well as white stones, went for $2.7 million, beating its $2.5 million upper price. Meanwhile, a pear brilliant-cut, 20.23-carat, D-flawless diamond achieved $2 million, just over its high estimate.